Mangaluru, Aug 21 (IANS) Despite being infected with coronavirus, two Karnataka students rocked with their academic performance in the Karnataka Common Entrance Test (KCET), securing top ranks, an official said on Friday.
“Chirag S Rao and Harsith Reddy were Covid patients but emerged as top rankers in the KCET examination,” said an official.
Rao secured 214th rank in the engineering stream while Reddy bagged the 615th rank in the same.
“Inspite of all these difficulties I have achieved so much and success has no limits,” Rao told IANS about his feat.
He was the only Covid positive student who wrote the exam at the National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NITK), Surathkal where a special examination centre was created for him.
Preparing for the examination per se was not an issue for Rao but taking the exam after he and his family members were infected was one.
“It was not the preparation which was actually the problem, the main problem was mental preparation. My mom tested positive for Covid, I tested positive and my father also tested positive,” he said about the crisis around the time of the entrance test.
In fact, Rao’s father was in a critical condition, put in the ICU to be released only a couple of days ago.
“Even though I was prepared physically, revised everything. I did not know whether I was fit to take the exam or not,” he said, thanking his teachers for supporting him during the ordeal.
Rao’s teacher Ramakrishna guided him all through this difficult time, coordinated with multiple departments and also managed to have his centre changed to NIT.
As his parents were also infected, Rao was provided with a driver to ferry him to the examination centre.
“Even in the examination centre, all the staff who were there at NIT and many others whose names I do not know were really helpful. Whether it was food or other things, including the care they took of me did not make me feel like I was sitting in an exam centre but I was sitting at home and writing the exam,” he said.
Inspite of all this mental instability, he said he was able to write the exam. Fortunately, Rao and his mother were asymptomatic while his father was critical, had pneumonia and infection in his lungs.
According to Rao, his result in KCET should not be about the marks he got but the conditions under which he wrote the exam.
“I am interested in doing medicine, so I have to wait for NEET scheduled on September 13. Until the NEET results come, I cannot say anything. KCET is just a standby,” said Rao who studied both mathematics and biology in intermediate.
Reddy from Bengaluru secured the 615th rank in the engineering stream when he was also suffering from coronavirus.
He took the KCET examination at the GKVK Covid Care Centre (CCC) in the city where a special centre for coronavirus positive students was set up.
Like Rao, the KCET result is also a backup for Reddy.
“KCET is a backup, so I didn’t prepare for it a lot. I have been preparing for NEET. It is an expected result so I’m not surprised,” said Reddy.
Covid did not make much difference in Reddy’s case either as he was also asymptomatic.
Similar to Rao, Reddy is also aiming for a medical seat.
KCET 2020 was held in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, requiring the organisers to take extra precautionary measures, including physical distancing and sanitisation.
It was held on July 30 and 31 at 497 examination centres across the state, with only 1.75 lakh candidates of the 1.94 lakh applicants appearing.
Among the examinees were 63 students infected with coronavirus, for whom separate examination centres were set up at Covid Care Centres under the supervision of medical professionals.
Likewise, the examination for students suffering from symptoms such as fever and cough was also conducted in separate rooms.